To #livetoski in Hayward, Wisconsin: American Birkenbeiner 2022

After a year off from its normal festivities, the excitement to get back to a normal Birkie in 2022 was palpable.

Sadie Bjornsen Maubet and Kikkan Randall ready to ski in Wisconsin

Every year, 10,000+ skiers and thousands of American cross country’s skiing most passionate fans descend upon Hayward, Wisconsin for the annual American Birkenbeiner. The sleepy midwestern town is transformed for a week into the epicenter of Nordic Skiing. A snake of SUVs and rental cars from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport makes its way through small lake towns before arriving at the Mecca that is northern Wisconsin during Birkie Week.

After a year off from its normal festivities, the excitement to get back to a normal Birkie in 2022 was palpable. Skiers flooded the Birkie’s expo at the Hayward High School to pick up their bibs and visit vendors hawking Birkie race essentials. Fischer was set up to show off the latest and greatest gear, including the new Speedmax Helium Ski and the new Speedmax Skate and Classic boots. Consumers were excited to touch and feel the gear they had just seen Olympians perform on in the weeks preceding.

Kikkan Randall coming in hot!

Former World Cup skiers and current Fischer ambassadors Kikkan Randall and Sadie Bjornsen Maubet were in attendance to sign autographs for fans and share their advice for a successful distance race. Kikkan was excited for her third Birkie after two weeks of Olympic commentary working the graveyard shift at NBC Sports in Stamford, Connecticut. Sadie was making her maiden journey to this iconic Wisconsin race, fresh from her new desk job at an accounting firm in Anchorage, Alaska. She was feeling good going into the race but not quite sure what to expect from the famed 50-kilometer course.

With an air temperature hovering around 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and a wind chill of about 10 degrees less, it was a brisk Saturday morning start to the 2022 American Birkenbeiner. The Fischer support crew watched the strong start from both Kikkan and Sadie, as well as Fischer World Cup athlete Caitlin Patterson, from a warm condo.

Sadie Bjornsen and Kikkan Randall warming up for the 2022 American Birkenbeiner

As the racers closed in on the final kilometers of the course, the crew rushed to the finish line on a closed Main Street in Hayward to see our Fischer athletes fly down the international bridge and make their final sprint to the Finish line in front of thousands of cheering fans, most with cowbells in hand. As the elite women approached, we watched a close battle for the podium with Caitlyn making a strong push for second. Just after the top three finishers crossed the line, Sadie came sprinting down Main Street to secure a fifth-place finish.

Sadie and Kikkan both had big smiles on their faces after completing the 50K race. Both skiers were impressed with how their new skis were gliding and fired up to make the trip back to Hayward next year. We can’t wait either. Fischer is always looking forward to another year of celebrating Nordic skiing all over the world.